Last Sunday (27th September), I made my first visit to the Bath Children’s Literature Festival and saw three great YA authors talking about their books at the Guildhall. There are lots of events to see over this week, so as soon as I saw Virginia Bergin‘s name attached, it was automatically high on my list. I got both of her books from Netgalley and read them cover-to-cover without wanting to stop. YA (Young Adult) books are just a fantastic area of fiction, and this was a great venue to hear them discussed. That said, the first thing I noticed was all the speakers’ exceptional footwear – especially Virginia Bergin’s boots! But that’s beside the point…
Each author has a very different style and manner. Sarah Crossan is an exceptional speaker, as well as confident and a little bit wacky. I will admit that contemporary/family fiction isn’t generally my thing, but hearing Sarah talk about this one made me have a change of heart. Listening to her writing process was very interesting, and some readers will be happy to know that you don’t necessarily have to do much research to bring a book to life (although we really do appreciate it when they do). Her latest book, One, tells the story of conjoined twins Grace and Tippi. Their lives see a dramatic change as they leave behind home-schooling to attend “regular” school. What will they find once they get there? Friends? Love?
Virginia Bergin gave some great insights into Ruby from her Rain duology. She did also suggest there may be a third book coming… cue me jumping up and down gleefully clapping! (But I shan’t get our hopes up just yet.) It’s wonderful to hear writing perspectives from different authors, and she was particularly very organised and had a timeline planned for her novel. And then Ruby came along and wasn’t having any of it!I guess you just don’t know what you’ve got until you put your characters into their setting.
Sarah Benwell brought forward some very interesting points about how teens (well, everyone on some level) can use the internet to help them feel less isolated. The reality is that everyone is different on the internet and has the ability to find confidence they never thought they had. That’s why Sarah’s book, The Last Leaves Falling, explores the culture of Japanese teenager Sora as he turns to his new friends for hope and strength.
Right, I’m off to find myself some new boots… it can’t hurt!